I love the duality of this cover, seeing both sides of Wren. She gives me so much mermaid vibes with her makeup, right?
Thanks so much for checking out my review for today’s tour stop. RockStar is also hosting a giveaway. Three (3) winners will receive a finished copy of VIOLETS ARE BLUE, open to US participants only. Click here to enter and good luck!
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to RockStar Book Tour, Aladdin, and Barbara Dee for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.
This book was pretty much heartbreaking and sometimes I forget that Middle Grade novels can hurt me so much more than adult novels. Wren and her mom try to start a new life by moving to a new town but things take a turn for the worse when Wren’s mom starts deteriorating. As a twelve-year old, Wren is bound to notice the things that are going wrong, especially since it’s just her and her mom now. Even when she tries to start a new life herself, with potential new friends and a job as the makeup artist for her new school’s upcoming production of Wicked, it doesn’t hide the fact that something is wrong with her mom.
There are so many real life aspects of this book that I know young readers will be able to relate to. Even if they aren’t in the exact situation as Wren and her family, they will be able to see the signs of what’s going on with Wren’s mom, and how they can learn how to get through with it and process their feelings. This was an emotional story and I really liked going through it.
Violets are Blue
by Barbara Dee
Release Date: October 12, 2021
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Genre: MG Contemporary
Length: 304 pages
Twelve-year-old Wren loves makeup—special effect makeup, to be exact. When she is experimenting with new looks, Wren can create a different version of herself. A girl who isn’t in a sort-of-best friendship with someone who seems like she hates her. A girl whose parents aren’t divorced and doesn’t have to learn to like her new stepmom.
So, when Wren and her mom move to a new town for a fresh start, she is cautiously optimistic. And things seem to fall into place when Wren meets potential friends and gets selected as the makeup artist for her school’s upcoming production of Wicked.
Only, Wren’s mom isn’t doing so well. She’s taking a lot of naps, starts snapping at Wren for no reason, and always seems to be sick. And what’s worse, Wren keeps getting hints that things aren’t going well at her new job at the hospital, where her mom is a nurse. And after an opening night disaster leads to a heartbreaking discovery, Wren realizes that her mother has a serious problem—a problem that can’t be wiped away or covered up.
After all the progress she’s made, can Wren start over again with her devastating new normal? And will she ever be able to heal the broken trust with her mom?
Praise for The VIOLETS ARE BLUE:
“Dee addresses with aplomb important topics such as opioid addiction, divorce, bullying, and moving. This inspired novel deftly depicts the self-doubt and loneliness that many children (and adults) feel.” — September 2021 ― School Library Journal
Barbara Dee is the author of twelve middle grade novels published by Simon & Schuster, including Violets Are Blue, My Life in the Fish Tank, Maybe He Just Likes You, Everything I Know About You, Halfway Normal, and Star-Crossed. Her books have earned several starred reviews and have been named to many best-of lists, including the The Washington Post’s Best Children’s Books, the ALA Notable Children’s Books, the ALA Rise: A Feminist Book Project List, the NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, and the ALA Rainbow List Top Ten. Barbara lives with her family, including a naughty cat named Luna and a sweet rescue hound named Ripley, in Westchester County, New York.
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